What is a Content Management System?
A content management system is a software framework that allows you to create and publish content on your website in a user-friendly way without having to know any code. In many cases once it's set up managing your website via a content management system is just as easy as using basic software tools like Microsoft Word.
What are the benefits of a Content Management System?
There are a number of benefits to using a content management system. It allows you to manage your website much more easily because you can make most changes and content additions yourself rather than relying on a developer - this can save you both time and money. This is particularly beneficial in allowing you to add new content to your website on a regular basis - something that pleases both your users as well as search engines.
How to Choose a Content Management System?
When thinking about which content management system to choose (and there are a number of platforms out there), there are a few factors that are important to consider.
Think first and foremost about what your goals are for your website. What functionality will you need in order to drive business? Having these clearly outlined form the beginning will help keep you on track and guide your choice. For example, will you need e-commerce either now or in the future? If so, make sure the solutions you consider support that.
While you will probably need some assistance in building your site you also want to think about how your site will be used and managed on a regular basis. Do you have a blog or event pages that will be updated regularly? Who will be performing these tasks? The CMS you choose should be user friendly enough for your team to manage the content they will be adding on a regular basis. Generally this encompasses adding text, videos, new pages, blog posts, images, links and events - these are all tasks that you may need to do regularly and don't want to have to rely on a developer or someone with technical knowledge for. Make a list of what you think you will need to update on a regular basis and keep those tasks in mind as you evaluate different platforms.
When thinking about which content management system to choose think about the longer term goals and direction of your website. You want to be sure to choose a platform that will be able to scale up to your eventual needs. You want to make sure that the solution you choose is customizable to your needs. Does it integrate with your CRM for example? Think about how your website and by extension your CMS will fit into your entire sales funnel - it doesn't do you much good to have a lot of conversions or form fills on your website if that information isn't getting passed off to your sales team so that they can follow up.
Who will be using your CMS? The likely answer is multiple people. In this case you want to look for a system that allows you to assign user roles. This will allow you to control the level of access that users have based on need. For example, if members of your marketing team are only responsible for uploading new blog entries, they can be given a role as a writer or editor that allows them to do this but doesn’t allow them to change other settings in the back end of the CMS.